Two Winter Olympians take feud with VP Mike Pence to new level. “Eat your heart out, Pence.”
From The Hill:
The first two openly gay male U.S. winter Olympians are doubling down on their feud with Vice President Pence over his record on LGBTQ rights.
Freeskier Gus Kenworthy posted a photo on Instagram of himself and figure skater Adam Rippon with a caption that calls out Pence, who is leading the U.S. delegation to the 2018 Olympics, by name. Rippon was named to the U.S. Olympic team first, making history as the first openly gay man to represent the country in the Winter Olympics. Kenworthy was named to the team a few weeks later.
“The Opening Ceremony is a wrap and the 2018 Winter Olympic Gaymes are officially under way!” Kenworthy wrote. “I feel incredibly honored to be here in Korea competing for the US and I’m so proud to be representing the LGBTQ community alongside this amazing guy! Eat your heart out, Pence.”
He also used the hashtag “TeamUSGay,” adding American flag and Pride flag emojis.
Rippon accuses Pence of ‘funding gay therapy.’ Of course, that’s false.
From Daily Wire:
Openly gay Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon is being hailed as a hero for refusing to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, whom he accused of “funding gay conversion therapy,” despite Pence’s repeated efforts to respond to Rippon’s claims and clear the air.
USA Today called the interaction a “bizarre battle,” and implied that Pence is locked in a feud with an Olympic athlete, even though it seems it’s Rippon who would prefer to stand by an incorrect statement rather than sit down with the high profile official he’s accused — wrongly, according to Pence’s office — of supporting a horrific practice involving electroshock therapy.
“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it,” Rippon told reporters when Pence was announced as the administration’s choice for top Olympic delegate.
Pence’s office reportedly balked at the statement, and issued an immediate rebuttal, telling USA Today that “The Vice President is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America’s incredible athletes,” and that “this accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”
The Veep’s office even, it seems, reached out to Rippon in an effort to smooth things over.
“[Pence] was so concerned about the criticism he received from U.S. Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon that his staff went to the extraordinary length of asking the U.S. Olympic Committee to set up a conversation between the two — an offer Rippon turned down,” USA Today reported, hailing Rippon as “not backing down” on Twitter.
Rippon’s claims are, apparently, based on a rumor that circulated during the 2016 presidential campaign that, while running for Congress, Pence supported — and even suggested funding — “gay conversion therapy,” a strange idea from Evangelical circles in the early 2000s that claimed homosexuality could be “cured” by inpatient psychological treatment, and sometimes included electroshock therapy.
But even Snopes admits that Pence’s website doesn’t make any claims of conversion therapy efficacy, nor does it say the vice president supports anything remotely in line with electroshock therapy.
Pence’s response to Rippon:
[Note: This post was written by John S. Roberts]